The Canadian Arctic: The Changing Seascape of Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration Issues


  • Wylie Spicer Q.C., Counsel, McInnes Cooper, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • and Tanya Bath Former Associate, McInnes Cooper, Halifax, Nova Scotia



Energy Law, Petroleum Law


This article examines issues affecting the offshore oil and gas business in the Canadian Arctic. It begins by discussing the impact of international conventions and the roles of the international organizations that administer them, or have direct interests in the Arctic. It then addresses the implications of Canadian sovereignty, relevant legislation, land claim agreements with Aboriginal groups, and Aboriginal cases currently before the Supreme Court of Canada. It concludes with thoughts and speculations concerning the possible futures for offshore oil and gas development in the north.